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Textbook War


A Tale of Three Tiny Tomes

By Karl Priest February 28, 2014 (revised 1-18-17)

This article that demonstrates how “scholars” have spread misinformation and lies from one to another to another. Likely, although the “scholars” may have been unaware, the trail concludes at the typewriters and keyboards of the Charleston Gazette. The books are conclusive evidence that professors perpetuate propaganda produced by people like themselves. Ultimately, the public has been conned. I call upon true scholars to come together with confutations of the conglomeration of conditioning indoctrination.

The title of this article is an intentional contradiction because the intent is to convey the misinformation (to put it mildly) in the historical record about the 1974 Kanawha County Textbook War.

The three publications in this study provide a plain trail of propaganda passed from one writer to the next. These so-called “scholars were superb in the propaganda techniques of repetition, simplicity, imagery, and sentiment.

PARKER

A small (5 x 7 in. 33 pages) book was published while the protest was still a contempory issue.

Parker, Franklin. The Battle of the Books: Kanawha County. Indiana: The Phi Delta Kappa Educational Foundation, 1975

Franklin was an education professor at West Virginia University and could have fairly easily met with the protesters. Had he bothered to have done so, he might not have make the miserable mistakes that follow.

Mrs. Moore’s vigorous antitextbook campaign among fundamentalist church groups began to split the community. (9) Parker’s attachment of “fundamentalist” to “churches” is an example of the Appeal to Prejudice propaganda technique. As explained in FIRMly FUNdamentalist, being a fundamentalist Christian is not a negative thing, but the word is used by liberals in a pejorative way. Parker would not attach “liberal” to churches of that persuasion. Rather than splitting the community, Mrs. Moore informed the community as is obvious from audio of one of her meetings.

But the mine shutdown until October 11 had more to do with a United Mine Worker contract due in November than with textbooks. (11) Parker’s speculation about the motives of the miners was spurious, especially with what a miner who was arrested for protesting said: “I took the textbooks as a personal offense and I made up my mind that I’d stand…One morning, as I left work, as I came to the end of the mine road I saw a few women with signs. They began to explain to the miners that were coming on evening shift and those that were leaving from day shift what they were there for. They begin to explain about the books to the miners that were standing around. Before long, miner after miner refused to go to work. Literally, right then, they began to get involved in the protest themselves. Miners are extremely patriotic and when the anti-American, antireligion, anti-God books were exposed, the miners became a force that would finally get the attention of those in charge. We need also be clear here. The miners and their families were greatly hurt financially when, for several weeks, the miners refused to cross the protest lines.” (Protester Voices—The 1974 Textbook Tea Party, 241-242)

“We want them filthy books out, period. Burn them.” (12) I doubt if Parker was present and heard the woman say that. Even if such a comment was made, it was one woman in a huge crowd. See and hear the event he was referring to. Start at the 5:28 minute mark (00:11:02:09 on the counter in the video). It should be noted that history revealed that Mrs. Moore and the protesters had been deceived when they agreed to that compromise. The board used the Citizens Review Committee as a means to mock the protesters. Alice Moore described the outcome on page 205 as did committee member Mick Staton in Chapter 12 of Protester Voices—The 1974 Textbook Tea Party.

Like all the propagandists, Parker listed several violent incidents without mentioning that the worse incident was committed by a pro-booker who shot an innocent by-stander in the heart. (13) See The Protesters were Not Violent.

To his credit, Parker did list some book passages that the protesters did not like:

“…and you feel like swearing and goddamning worse and worse.”
“Listen, you yellow bastard, what the hell’s the idea…”
“Is there such a thing as a black human brain?”
“Oh, damn your mother’s cups.”
(15)

He correctly described Mrs. Moore’s explanation of how the Bible was put in the same genre as the “Androcles and the Lion” fable. Also, Parker pointed out that the text series included an audio tape describing how to smoke marijuana. (16)

Amusingly, Parker disclosed that one objectionable selection was a poem which refers to pubic hair as ‘electric fuzz’. (17) Mrs. Moore asked the leader of the teacher section committee to read that poem aloud at a board meeting. The audio recording of that board meeting mysteriously disappeared, but Mrs. Moore hilariously described that night in Protester Voices—The 1974 Textbook Tea Party (196-198)

Parker said that racial slurs were heard before a board meeting that ended with fisticuffs. “I was present during the December 12, 1974 board of education meeting that ended in a minor melee. Not long after I addressed the board (and as a total surprise to me), a man went forward and punched board member Doug Stump. During the fracas, a woman swatted board member Matthew Kinsolving (who previously had voted with Alice Moore) with a stack of papers. Superintendent Kenneth Underwood took a punch, but I think it was because he tried to intervene along with another administrator who was also hit. The two board members who had always favored the books were not hit. Mace was sprayed, but I did not notice it and I was standing very close to the table where the board members sat. Some claimed, and it seems valid, that the mace fumes assisted in breaking up the fight. According to a Gazette report, the whole fracas lasted about one minute.” (Protester Voices—The 1974 Textbook Tea Party, 7) Audio of that night is in The Great Textbook War at point 39:55.

Almost five pages were devoted to the NEA Inquiry report, but he neglected to mention that four teachers spoke against the textbooks. The NEA report sham is disclosed in Chapter 7 of Protester Voices—The 1974 Textbook Tea Party.

Preposterously, Parker said that Episcopal minister James Lewis (was) admired for his moderate views. (24) The truth is that Lewis was a liberal extremist. Protester Voices—The 1974 Textbook Tea Party documents that fact and the honest liberal journalist Trey Kay said that the “Reverend Jim Lewis, a liberal Episcopal minister in Charleston, was one of the most outspoken advocates for the textbooks…” (44:00 of The Great Textbook War)

Klan leaders offered legal aid to the Rev. Marvin Horan, an anti-textbook leader. (29) Why didn’t Parker point out that Horan refused the offer? Perhaps to prejudice the reader? Marvin Horan was not a Racist.

Parker could have retained some semblance of scholarship had he concluded his book with, It remains true that the American people ultimately control education, that the U.S. Constitution reserves to the states and local communities control of the schools. But with schools forced to be agents of change, more community groups now attempt to use the schools for their own ends. (31 emphasis added) The flaw in that otherwise accurate statement is that the communities try to maintain their standards while powerful forces (often Federal), acting as change agents, do use the schools for their liberal agenda.

Parker concluded by mocking the protesters as being akin to those who fought against the advances of the spinning jenny and textile machinery. (33) What was in Parker’s heart had to come out. “O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.” (Matthew 12:34 KJB)

Parker is cited by both of the following authors and his propaganda got perpetuated.

JENKINSON

The second book, truly tiny—about 6.5 x 4 in.) packs a powerful punch.

Jenkinson, Edward B. Censors in the Classroom—The Mind Benders. New York: Avon Books, 1979.

Liberals are literally blind to many things--pre-born babies are human, anal sex is unhealthy, if movies showing smoking influences young people then so does promiscuous sex and violence, nothing is evolving (increasing in complexity), alcohol causes much more destruction than guns—just to name a few. The title chosen by Jenkinson for his book is an exemplary example of “not seeing the forest because of the trees” liberal lunacy.

Beginning with his insidious Introduction (I have tried neither to speak for the censors nor to intrude my views on what they were doing… (xviii) His claims are canceled by his comments that conveyed contempt for people like the Kanawha book protesters. He condemned anyone who objects to anything in books forced upon public school students as censors. Yet he ignored (amusingly it fits his title perfectly) the “elephant in the room”--the teachers who are the mind-bending censors actually in the classroom!

Jenkinson bragged that he has deep religious convictions, but could not comprehend that his convictions influence his commentary. He wanted his children free to think, free to challenge, and free to make their own decisions. Yeh, right! I doubt if he totally allowed his children to make all of their decisions. He admited that he would “censor”. I do not feel that all books and films are worthy of study in a classroom.” (xix) “ I, too, am a censor. I do not permit my daughter to watch certain television shows because they are filled with crime and violence. I do not want her to read certain literary works because I believe that she is not yet ready for them. As a parent, I feel that I have a moral obligation to be concerned about what my child sees and reads. On the other hand, I know I do not have the right to impose my standards on the other children in her class or in the nation. I must live with the constant uncertainty that by denying her the right to read or see anything, I may be seriously limiting her education. I do not know exactly what is best for my child — I can only try to provide what I think is right. But the public censor apparently knows what is best for all children. (xvi-xvii) This is a classic “can’t see the forest for the trees”) case. I doubt that Jenkinson would not have allowed a teacher to force his daughter to read the “literary works” he censored from her and I guarantee someone like him would be the first to attack (and attempt to censor) a teacher who criticized evolutionism.

Since he was the 1976 chairman of the Committee against Censorship of the National Council of Teachers of English (http://eric.ed.gov/?id=ED272975), Jenkinson must have been obligated to pound home that anyone (other than himself and those who think like him), who objects to the content in a book forced upon their children, are censors.

His censorship condemning career was launched when he read about the Kanawha County conflict. (xvii) Chapter 2 is devoted entirely to that event.

Jenkinson made an unsubstantiated irrelevant and idiotic statement that “At least one parent objected to every one of the 325 textbooks that were recommended for adoption in Kanawha County.” (75) Of course, it is possible that someone did that, but it was NOT the position publicized by the protesters! It has been verified that the Kanawha County Board of Education (except for Alice Moore) were going to vote to accept all 325 books without having read one word of any of the books! The protesters were well informed about the contents of the books as revealed in this recording.

Chapter 2 opens with a quote from a reasonable researcher (John Egerton) that the Kanawha County Battle for the Books was a complex and profoundly disturbing reflection of the deep fissures that crisscross American society. (17) Other excellent Egerton quotes were in the forest that Jenkinson could not see.

Parroting the deception perpetuated about the protesters from previous devious propagandists, Jenkinson used self-ordained minister, (Alice Moore) launched a vigorous campaign against the textbooks in the fundamentalist churches, found books objectionable if they contained works of controversial black writers, some protesters even objected to an illustrated version of Jack and the Beanstalk, glowingly quoted a pro-book pastor (19), (the school board building) had several of its windows blown out by shotgun blasts (20), bands of roving pickets who were shouting, "Burn those filthy books"’, (teachers backed out of a threatened sick-out because they feared it would) rekindle sparks of violence (21), Three gasoline-filled beer bottles were thrown at Chandler Elementary School (22), and admiringly quoted the National Education Association report’s contrived conclusions (25-26). All of those canards have been conquered through the documented content provided in the Textbook Protester Truth pages and indisputable evidence such as audio recordings. Also, they are cleared up in this composition.

In a separate chapter Jenkinson attributed the protesters as racists because A building in an outlying area of the county was painted with lettering that stated, “Get the nigger books out!” (69) That is a unique way of telling that disturbing deception. It is always attributed to a single “sign” and is easily debunked. Jenkinson got the quote from the National Education Association report on the textbook conflict. Simply search >NEA< at the Textbook Protester Truth pages to see the reasonableness of the NEA report.

Quoting from another prejudiced professor (Franklin Parker who is exposed in the NOT VIOLENT and PERTINENT POINTS articles), Jenkinson listed a cause of censorship being due to unpleasant experiences in school by mountaineers who were sometimes ridiculed, forced to drop-out, and denied other avenues to gain needed skills. (70) What a farce! The mountaineer classification probably fitted about 90% of Kanawha County students!

Jenkinson, not intending it as a compliment, included a 1978 quote (from another source) by Alice Moore that "hit the nail on the head”. Mrs. Moore said, “I see no way to ultimately salvage the public school system. We must fight for what we can while it lasts for the sake of the children who are trapped in it and pray for those good teachers and educators who are still there." She added that concerned parents must also fight for a federal tax credit that will allow them to choose private schools for their children. She said the tax credit would force public schools to improve to meet the private school competition or close completely. "Isn’t this what the American way is all about?" she asked. (27) Also, included was a superb statement from Congressman John R. Rarick: Take your child out of public school as soon as you can. This is the best investment you can make. (106-107)

In closing the first chapter (The Textbook War is Chapter 2), Jenkinson asked, Who can determine what is objectionable? He did not answer that question, but implied that nothing is objectionable unless it would be that Jesus Christ came to save sinners.

Jenkins concluded the section on Kanawha County with a quote from Kanawha County Schools Superintendent Kenneth Underwood: It might be a decade before we can understand what happened. In another “forest-trees” mental block, Jenkinson unwittingly provided the answer in the Introduction: Most parents were not worried about what their sons and daughters were reading in the early fifties… (xii)

Chapter 7 is Secular Humanism and Jenkinson tried to confuse and curtail the reality that that worldview was being pushed into public schools.

The “trees” really conceal the “forest” in the last chapter where Jenkinson says that censorship issues will not occur if schools have an “established set of procedures for handling complaints about books” and other educational items. (160) Additionally, every school system should have a materials selection policy that is readily available to all citizens who wish to have a copy. (161) He must have forgotten how the Kanawha County policy, derived by the democratic process, was maligned by the NEA which said it would make censors of parents. (27)

Jenkinson closed his book by saying Freedom of speech, freedom to read, the right to know, and the right to teach are among the very first targets of totalitarian societies. (163) That rates a bwa ha ha ha! In the case of the Kanawha county parents (and probably all of the other cases Jenkinson condescendingly criticized in his book) that is a bald-faced bunch of baloney. The reality is revealed in the statement made by the former Czech citizen as cited in the addendum.

Jenkinson provided an uncited quote: On at least two occasions, a minister with a national television congregation has urged his followers to ‘bring immoral public education to its knees by establishing between two and three thousand American Christian schools each year". (68) If he congregation had heeded the minister, America would not be in the seriously sick state where she is today!

Jenkinson provided the primary impetus to a hit piece by Robert O’Neil which is debunked in the addendum.

Another book came out a few years after Jenkinson and quoted him extensively in the section about Kanawha County.

PROVENZO

Provenzo, Eugene F., Jr. Religious Fundamentalism and American Education—The Battle for the Public Schools. New York: State University of New York Press, 1990.

Provenzo obtained the term ultra-fundamentalism from a People for the America Way (PFAW-more accurately named People for the Atheist Way) book that used the Radical Right’s Holy War on Democracy. (99) The PFAW leftists claimed that the term better describes the activities of those who strongly oppose the abhorrent values of PFAW. Bona fide conservatives would find it distasteful to be grouped with ultra-fundamentalists. (99)

To his credit, Provenzo, credited the “ltra-fundamentalists with having asked important questions about the public school system—questions that are concerned with How, What and Why we teach children. Ultimately the ultra-fundamentalists are asking what should be the nature and purpose of public education in a democratic society. Then he disclosed that he was concerned with how they have distorted the history and role of the public schools in the development of American society and have put increasing pressure on American public education to conform exclusively to their philosophy and vision of education and culture. He concluded by stating that if the ultra-fundamentalists succeed they will in fact severely limit and weaken public education in the United States. (xviii) Provenzo may have a point about distorting the history and role of public education. Although, conservative and Christian values predominated during the early years (after all, America was largely conservative and Christian), the public schools were never intended to promote anything other than secularism. I doubt if Provenzo would agree, but history tells the tale. Since the publication of Provenzo’s book, his liberal (“ultra-liberals” would be redundant) side prevailed and the headlines prove that public education is a mammoth mess as a result of liberal policies and procedures.

Toward the end of his book Provenzo ludicrously mixed fantasy and fact.

Fantasy: This book has been written in an attempt to be as fair and objective as possible concerning the rights and needs of the ultra-fundamentalism. (96)

Fantasy: Up to this point. I have attempted to avoid presenting my personal and subjective feelings about the ultra-fundamentalists and their belief systems. (96)

Fact: Many of their (ultra-fundamentalists’) criticisms of American public education and our society are valid. Their concerns about State domination and control of public education and the protection of their civil and religious rights are reasonable. (96)

Fact: The ultra-fundamentalists have a valid point when they argue that current social studies and history textbooks tend to deemphasize the role that religion has played on the history of our country. (He should have said, “on the history of Christianity”.)

One of the silliest statements I have ever read from a supposed scholar was in Provenzo’s book. (John) Dewey’s signing of a document such as the Humanist Manifesto, I does not imply that he shared a religious or philosophical viewpoint with its other signatories. (xvi) It is irrelevant if all the signatories were completely aligned. Dewey was an indisputable God-hater whose worldview impacted so-called public schools.

Dewey said, "I believe that...[public] education is the fundamental method of social progress and reform ... this conception has due regard for...socialistic ideals." and "There is no God and there is no soul. ...There is no room for fixed...or moral absolutes." (My Pedagogic Creed Article 5. "The School and Social Progress")

(Dewey’s) “views shaped the character of organized humanism both in his lifetime and for the rest of the twentieth century, and they continue to have great influence today.” http://www.thehumanist.org/humanist/Niose-Extra2.html

Provenzo did make a profound admission. Many of the issues they (ultra-fundamentalists) have focused on are of concern to a much larger portion of the population than just the conservative Protestant religious tradition they represent. Nowhere is this clearer than in the case of the public schools. (xvi)

Provenzo correctly stated that What concerns the ultra-fundamentalists is that the traditional social, political and religious value system to which they subscribe is no longer being supported in public institutions such as schools. (xvii)

The contemporary controversy over ultra-fundamentalism and censorship has its origins in the 1974 Kanawha County, West Virginia "battle of the books”. (20) True.

Oh, if only Jerry Falwell’s desire had become a reality! One day, I hope in the next ten years, I can trust that we will have more Christian day schools than there are public schools. I hope I live to see the day when, as in the early days of our country, we won’t have any public schools. The churches will have taken them over again and Christians will be running them. What a happy day that will be. (America Can Be Saved, 1979) (xvii)

Relying on erroneous reports from others Provenzo spread the slants and slurs that:

…Alice Moore (was) a member of the school board and the wife of a local conservative, self-ordained Protestant minister. (20) He must have gotten that from Jenkinson. Liberals have an obsession with “ordination” of ministers. The facts about Mrs. Moore’s husband are covered in The Protesters Were Not Religious Fanatics.

The windows in the board of education building in Charleston were blown out by gunfire. (21) A cursory reading would make one think that all of the windows were shot out. The truth is that only a couple of windows “above the main doors” were effected. (Charleston Daily Mail, September 16, 1974.) No one was ever charged with that act. Provenzo cited this lie from the Jenkinson book. Jenkinson said “several” windows were shot out.

Damage to the schools cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. (21) The truth is that the vandalism did not even reach $5000. (Search “vandalism” at The Protesters were Not Violent.

The teachers backed off a walk-out because there was a feeling that it would rekindle violence in the community. (21) That came from Jenkinson (amusingly, also on page 21). Provenzo cited Jenkinson who cited an article in the 1975 Arizona English Bulletin. The original talking-point was posted in the Charleston Gazette (September 15, 1974. 1A). The truth is “In 1974 the local teacher union (Kanawha County Association of Classroom Teachers--KCACT) was becoming aggressive in demanding collective bargaining rights. The National Education Association (NEA) had sent negotiations specialists to West Virginia to assist county teacher organizations. The KCACT president said (Gazette October 20, 1974) that the textbook controversy would help achieve the group’s goals. However, the KCACT could not muster enough teacher support to stage a planned one day sickout to protest the removal of the books from school sites.” (Protester Voices—The 1974 Textbook Tea Party, 43-44)

Molotov cocktails (gasoline bombs) were thrown at a local elementary school. (22) The implication is one of a flaming inferno. The truth is "my school (Chandler Elementary) received much publicity (front page photos) on October 11, 1974. Chandler was always a site of frequent vandalism due to its close proximity to the toughest neighborhood in West Virginia (see http://www.insectman.us/testimony/orchard-manor.htm). Someone threw three gasoline filled beer bottles at some windows. Only one made it inside, resulting in two partially burned window shades.” (Protester Voices—The 1974 Textbook Tea Party, 176) This hyperbole was obtained from Jenkinson who, at least, accurately reported “three” bottles. No one was ever charged with that act. Chandler was always a site of frequent vandalism due to its close proximity to the toughest neighborhood in West Virginia. A little while latter an article reported that Chandler had been vandalized for the third time in seven days. This time KKK signs were left throughout the building. A board of education spokesman blamed the vandalism on teenagers. This was not page one news. Charleston Daily Mail 1-22-75)

Quoting Jenkinson, Provenzo provided the partisan quintessential quote from Charles Quigley about praying for God to kill board members who supported the protested books. Had Jenkinson been interested in scholarship, he could easily have contacted Quigley to discuss this prayer (I wonder if Jenkinson believed in God answering prayers.) Or, Jenkinson could have read the Charleston Gazette story (October 1, 1974, 114A) and provided Quigley’s response to the criticism of his statement. In Protester Voices—The 1974 Textbook Tea Party (6o) I reported that “He tried to explain that he was using the analogy that the lives of children were more valuable than those adults and that he was warning them, based upon biblical history, of what could happen. He also pointed out that when Christians pray “Come quickly, Lord Jesus” they are actually calling for multitudes to die in those end time events.” Quigley provided his own explanation on pages 285-286.

Provenzo closed his section on Kanawha County with a quote from the National Education Association Report that textbook adoptions, due to new school board guidelines, would become a nearly impossible task—and a nightmare largely because the influence of lay citizens is not only present, it literally permeates every area of curriculum planning and textbook evaluation. (24) What part of “public” did Provenzo not perceive regarding schools?

In his Final Reflections Provenzo made statements that need correction.

Statement: In the pursuit of their (ultra-fundamentalist’s) (First Amendment) rights, they do not have the right to impose their value system on others. (96)
Correction: That is only permissible for Provenzo and his liberal group.

Statement: In secular institutions such as the schools, specific religious beliefs cannot play a role… (96)
Correction: Only the beliefs advocated by humanism can be imposed.

Statement: …they (ultra-fundamentalists) do not have the right to stubbornly maintain an absolutist point of view that precludes the rights of those whose views differ from their own. (97)
Correction: Bible believers (the accurate term for the attempted insult of “ultra-fundamentalists) do not do that as a group. However, they do have the right to do that. In real life, only liberals widely exhibit such egregious behavior.

Statement: Yet in maintaining the right of alternative schools to exist, the mainstream culture and its agent, the state, has the right and obligation to see that minimal standards are maintained. (97)
Correction: He means the government should unconstitutionally stick its nose in more than just blatant child neglect. As has been recently shown, people like Provenzo want to enforce what Bible believers can teach their children.
“Teaching children  creationism  as a legitimate scientific alternative to the theory of  evolution  is a form of child abuse, according to  Lawrence Krauss, theoretical physicist, cosmologist, bestselling author and advocate for  science  education.” (http://www.examiner.com/article/physicist-lawrence-krauss-teaching-creationism-is-child-abuse)

Statement: Accommodation, compromise and empathy are essential to both sides. (97)
Correction: Liberals do not understand those three words.

Statement: They (ultra-fundamentalists) attempt to function with a majority status, when in fact they are not a majority.
Correction: In 1974 Bible believers were a huge majority in Kanawha County. “In March of 1975, the board released statistics revealing that 65.6% of Kanawha County parents had used the county provided opt out form to forbid their children from using the Communicating series of elementary textbooks. School board member Alice
Moore stated that the true figure was closer to 80% because some schools, which had a high degree of support for the protest, had not had their permission slip totals reported. Eighteen schools were not counted in the report.” (Protester Voices—The 1974 Textbook Tea Party, 70)

Provenzo got one point perfectly precise: In general, the ultra-fundamentalists believe that ‘secular humanist’ teachers, textbooks and curricula are instilling Godless values into America’s children. (xvi) News headlines from 1975 on prove that is exactly what happened.

Early in his book (27-28) Provenzo pointed out that, based upon the First Amendment, the issue becomes almost impossible to deal with. Then he posed THE question: Is there a solution to the selection problem? He acknowledged that Ultra-fundamentalists clearly have the right to decide what their children are taught or not taught. As a possible answer to that problem he probed Censorship Versus Selection in which he provided the immense illogic of ultra-leftism. He quoted Lester Asheim (2) and cited Jenkinson (The School Protest Movement). Jenkinson used a quote from Asheim’s “Not Censorship But Selection” (Wilson Library Bulletin, 28 (September 1953), 63-67).

Selection, then, begins with a presumption in favor of liberty of thought; censorship, with a presumption in favor of thought control. Selection's approach to the book is positive, seeking its values in the book as a book, and in the book as a whole. Censorship's approach is negative, seeking for vulnerable characteristics wherever they can be found—anywhere within the book, or even outside it. Selection seeks to protect the right of the reader to read; censorship seeks to protect—not the right—but the reader himself from the fancied effects of his reading. The selector has faith in the intelligence of the reader; the censor has faith only in his own.

That convoluted concept can be condemned with simple facts from 1974 Kanawha County. The protesters proved the books were largely negative and prevented the liberty of thought of the huge majority of the community that had a Judeo-Christian and patriotic worldview. Fictional and actual characters that portrayed those values were “selected” out. “Selection” is code for “censor” except, in the minds of liberals, their side never censors.

Going on to cite Jenkinson himself (Ibid) who talked himself into a corner saying, (S)electors examine materials looking for what best meets their educational objectives. That is exactly what concerned the protesting parents! Those objectives were the opposite of the standards the parents set for their children! The intense idiocy of Jenkinson (promoted by Provenzo) continued.

Censors rely on the reviews of other censors, while selectors rely on reviews in professional journals. The authors in those journals have worldviews that are not objective! The first phrase could read, “Selectors rely on the reviews of other selectors” and stop there. Censors believe they know what is right for all people, while selectors look for works that represent a number of points of view. An honest rewording would be: “Selectors believe they know what is right for all people, and selectors look for works that represent a number of points of view except for conservative and certainly not Christian.” Censors look for reasons outside of the work to reject it (their religion, political affiliation, etc.) while selectors judge a book on its own merits. The religious and political affiliation of liberals certainly play a major part in what they judge to be worthy of passing through their selection (i.e. “censorship) process.

Provenzo destroyed his whole argument by inserting a quote from conservative icon Phyllis Schafly: Like the thief who cries ‘Stop, thief’ in order to distract attention from his own crime, many powerful liberals cry "censorship" in order to hide the fact that they are the most ruthless censors of all. (emphasis in the original) That is exactly what liberal censors do!

Provenzo conceded that parents have the right to “ask for an alternative assignment.” That right is not as clear-cut as it seems. “The 2000 board (also, see footnote 1 in Chapter 3) used the same 1974 tactics to keep the trashy taxpayer funded book and to pressure Christian students to find an alternative book as Mr. Liston said, ‘With similar subject matter that the teacher knew something about.’ When informed that his daughter did not have to use the book Mr. Liston reasoned, ‘You don’t have to work, but it’s a lot easier if you do.’” (Protester Voices—The 1974 Textbook Tea Party, 103) The video of this incident is on line.

Amazingly, on page 28, Provenzo referred to liberal censors! Also, he admitted that the public school system can be a censor. Those lapses into honesty were muted by the opening line of his next paragraph where he attached censors to the derogatory ultra-fundamentalists. In his narrow-mind any Bible believer is an extremist and a book banner.

He concluded Chapter 2 by asking, Is the ultra-fundamentalist controversy over the role of public education simply part of a larger battle over the definition and meaning of American society? (29) The answer is, YES!!”

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Parker read the news reports (mainly the liberal Gazette) and wrote in 1975, Jenkinson cited Parker in 1979, and Provenzo cited Parker and Jenkinson in 1990. That is an excellent example of a chain of chicanery .

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(1.) In a paper (citation at “Pertinent Points”) Parker said that Marvin Horan was a plumber and self-appointed fundamentalist minister. Also, he referred to the Episcopal minister (James Lewis) as “moderate”. Marvin Horan was a truck driver. To call him a plumber is plain stupid. Parker had no idea who appointed/ordained Pastor Horan. Jim Lewis is far-left and that is documented in Protester Voices—The 1974 Textbook Tea Party and in the Charleston Gazette for May 9, 2010. Lewis blessed homosexual marriages, led a sit-in against the Iraq War, and “recruited an interdenominational group of West Virginia ministers to support Barack Obama for president.”

(2) Asheim’s paper is about librarians and clearly show that contemplating censorship is certainly complicated. Asheim did not discuss that kids are the key. That point separates his study from the 1974 event in Kanawha County.

ADDENDUM

1. O’Neil, Robert. Classrooms in the Crossfire: The Rights and Interests of Students, Parents, Teachers, Administrators and the Community. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 1981.

O’Neil is the author of a litany of liberal books such as The Rights of Public Employees, Second Edition: The Basic ACLU Guide to the Rights of Public Employees (ACLU Handbook)

He attributed two colleagues with special appreciation as sources for his book. One was Judith F. Krug who co-founded Banned Books Week. (x) Of course, some books do not meet her criteria for censorship. Krug “was the leader of the initiative to challenge the constitutionality of the Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA).” The CIPA “proposed to limit children's exposure to pornography and explicit content online.” Mrs. Krug, also wrote an article, "Kanawha County Rise of the Right and Civil Rights in Jeopardy." Report of the 17th Annual Conference on Human and Civil Rights in Education, 7-8 . I have not yet obtained that piece, but the title does not lend itself toward objectivity. Her willingness to allow children to be exposed to pornography is alarming.

O’Neil granted a special debt to the other colleague—none other than Edward B. Jenkinson. If there were more Judith Krugs and Edward Jenkinsons, there would be no occasion for such a book as this. (x) Of course, enough of those two liberals would shut down any comments from concerned parents.

O’Neil became interested in the subject of censorship just before the Textbook War erupted. According to him, the Kanawha County matter in many respects remains unsettled today. (ix)

I was at first amazed, then horrified, that brutal mob violence could alter the selection of teaching materials for the public school. (ix) Do you see the propaganda techniques used in that sentence?

If this study has a bias, it is simply my own commitment to the preservation of the freedom of the Bill of Rights in the classrooms and libraries in which the views of our next generation will be shaped. (ix)

I doubt if the Amendments 2-10 of the Bill of Rights have any bearing on O’Neil’s book. Of course he, as a liberal, would want to infringe upon those who support the Second Amendment (the right to bear arms). So he must be referring to the First Amendment.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Let’s look at that list of things that Congress cannot do. According to the First Amendment, Congress shall make no law

1. respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof
2. abridging the freedom of speech
3. (abridging the freedom) of the press
4. (abridging the freedom) of the right of the people peaceably to assemble
5. (abridging the freedom of the people) to petition the Government for a redress of grievances

Items 3, 4 and 5 are not part of the Kanawha County textbook War. The press wrote (although often one-sided) extensively. Both sides freely assembled although ridiculous restrictions were placed upon the protesters. (An injunction prohibited no more than five protesters on school property. Charleston Daily Mail, September 19, 1974) Both sides petitioned elected representatives. So, O’Neil’s target would be items 1 and 2. Liberals confuse Jefferson’s letter to a group of Baptists assuring them the government would not infringe upon their religious freedom. The protesters never came close to asking the government to establish their religion into public schools. However, those in liberal religious groups (and the rising humanists) had no such qualms. Two diametrically opposite worldviews were in conflict and only one would prevail. Ultimately the views of the protesters were censored from the curriculum. Therefore, O’Neil’s “commitment to the preservation of the freedom of the Bill of Rights” is biased, but not for the self-righteous reason he portrayed.

O’Neil focused on court cases and provided lots of information, but he was blinded by bias toward protesters. Ignoring the usual mistakes and misconceptions that are adequately answered throughout the Protester Truth pages, some points raised by O’Neil and my comments follow.

As a nation, we should not tolerate the current degree of restriction of free inquiry in the schoolroom… (x) I wonder if O’Neil would include free inquiry into flaws in evolution.

The leaders of the protest publicly took credit for these acts of violence… (4) Of course, O-Neil provides no citation for that lie because there was never such a claim made by the leaders. It was easy for me to find a news report of the most maligned leader, Marvin Horan, who “said he always has preached peace, and never has advocated violence.” (Charleston Daily Mail, 5A, January 25, 1975)

At the height of the crisis, anti-textbook parents had brought suit in federal court, claiming that the adoption of the materials to which they objected involved the “establishment” of anti-religion, and thus violated the Constitution. The federal judge now dismissed this novel claim, holding that the use of the challenged texts was quite consistent with the national Bill of Rights . (6) Novel is his opinion. History has shown that religion eventually ruled Kanawha County Schools. O’Neil neglected to note that the judge wrote, “Careful consideration, evaluation, and analysis of the plaintiff’s complaint and testimony compel the conclusion that materials in some of the controversial textbooks and supplemental materials are offensive to the plaintiff’s beliefs, choices of language, and code of conduct.” (Charleston Daily Mail, 1B, January 31, 1975)

The merger into a single school district of people with such totally disparate values and views as the “creekers” (the rural residents of the county) and the city residents produced an extremely heterogonous constituency . (6) Kanawha County had been a single school district for many years prior to 1974. The protesters ranged throughout all social, educational, and residential areas.

Several books were attacked because they characterized the United States as a “representative Democracy”… (7) A full-paged ad in the Charleston newspapers 0n Novemeber 14, 1974 proves that statement is a bald-faced lie.

In a chapter titled Public Regulation and Private School Curriculum O’Neil made a case for some state oversight of materials used in private schools. (210) Hmmm, that sure seems like censorship to me!

It is, quite basically, the function of the public schools to inculcate values in children during their formative years. (213) BINGO! The protesters objected to the values of others being inculcated into their children!

“By and large,” the (Supreme) court has said, “public education in our Nation is committed to the control of state and local authorities”…The Court has stressed “the State’s undoubted right to prescribe the curriculum for its public schools…” (214) O’Neil had not heard of Common Core.

2. James C. Hefley wrote a book that tells the truth about the protest. He is cited in both Jenkinson and Provenzo. The former used Hefley to attempt to bolster his charge of censorship and the latter mined an Alice Moore quote. Following are a few, of many, fascinating facts from Hefley’s book.

Hefley, James C. Are Textbooks Harming Your Children? Milford, MI: Mott Media, 1979 (Originally Textbooks on Trial, 1976) An “account of Mel and Norma Gabler’s 16 years of trials and triumphs in their battle of better textbooks.” (back cover)

Hefley, a Christian author, hesitated to accept the request to write this book because he had heard so much about the extremism of the Crusade against objection textbooks. (8)

Textbook content has a twofold effect. First, children cannot learn what they are not taught, and second, what they are taught will affect not only the ability to perform basic tasks required of an educated person, but also moral development. (4)

When children are routinely subjected in their textbook readings to an image of man as violent, sadistic, and unreasoning, liberated from absolute standards of moral conduct, it is a powerful influence on their concept of the world, themselves and acceptable standards of behavior. (5)

Hefley reported that a Ford Foundation report disclosed that student test scores had been declining. (5) Poor public school academic performance has continued since then.

The Chapter 11 title says it all. : The Truth about West Virginia.

The Gablers were worried that should the powerful National Education Association reach its goal an academic-political dictatorship could be established over public schools. Private schools, already hindered by bureaucracy, will be harassed till they fold or conform. At the heart of this control will be standardized, federally financed curriculum, administered and written by progressive educators. The Gablers (conceded) that on the surface this sounds good to average parents. “But they need to consider,” Mel warn(ed) “that a powerful liberal group will gain more control over what our children are taught, advance any ideology they wish, and do it in the name of representative democracy.” (190-191) After Hefley’s book was published the NEA grew to a powerful federal force and the Gabler’s worries became reality in 2010 when the Common Core State Standards swept through the states.

A man who fled communist Czechoslovakia to become an American citizen praised Hefley’s book and said, “Once a government decides on being an absolute supreme force, it has no use for an independent thinking citizen…” (191) The United States is nearly there.

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Also see “Indisputable Ignoble Ignorance and Insolence and “Dr. Durst Duplicates and Designs Disinformation”.

The TRUTH is that the Kanawha County Textbook Protesters were true patriots and heroes. They consisted of thousands of humble people who have suffered humiliation because they stood up for children and America in 1974. The Kanawha County Textbook Protesters deserve to be honored.  Please read THE FACTS.

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